Symmetry and asymmetry of ionospheric weather at magnetic conjugate points for two midlatitude observatories

Gulyaeva T. L., ARIKAN F., Stanislawska I., POUSTOVALOVA L. V.

ADVANCES IN SPACE RESEARCH, vol.52, no.10, pp.1837-1844, 2013 (SCI-Expanded) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 52 Issue: 10
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.asr.2012.09.038
  • Journal Indexes: Science Citation Index Expanded (SCI-EXPANDED), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.1837-1844
  • Hacettepe University Affiliated: Yes


Variations of the ionospheric weather W-index for two midlatitude observatories, namely, Grahamstown and Hermanus, and their conjugate counterpart locations in Africa are studied for a period from October 2010 to December 2011. The observatories are located in the longitude sector, which has consistent magnetic equator and geographic equator so that geomagnetic latitudes of the line of force are very close to the corresponding geographic latitudes providing opportunity to ignore the impact of the difference of the gravitational field and the geomagnetic field at the conjugate points on the ionosphere structure and dynamics. The ionosondes of Grahamstown and Hermanus provide data of the critical frequency (foF2), and Global Ionospheric Maps (GIM) provide the total electron content (TECgps) along the magnetic field line up to the conjugate point in the opposite hemisphere. The global model of the ionosphere, International Reference Ionosphere, extended to the plasmasphere altitude of 20,200 km (IRI-Plas) is used to deliver the F2 layer peak parameters from TECgps at the magnetic conjugate area. The evidence is obtained that the electron gas heated by day and cooled by night at the summer hemisphere as compared with the opposite features in the conjugate winter hemisphere testifies on a reversal of plasma fluxes along the magnetic field line by the solar terminator. The ionospheric weather W-index is derived from NmF2 (related with foF2) and TECgps data. It is found that symmetry of W-index behavior in the magnetic conjugate hemispheres is dominant for the equinoxes when plasma movement along the magnetic line of force is imposed on symmetrical background electron density and electron content. Asymmetry of the ionospheric storm effects is observed for solstices when the plasma diffuse down more slowly into the colder winter hemisphere than into the warmer summer hemisphere inducing either plasma increase (positive phase) or decrease (negative phase of W-index) in the ionospheric and plasmaspheric plasma density. (C) 2012 COSPAR. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.